"After the great revolt against Rome and the completion of the compilation of the books of Josephus, the historical information about the Jews dried up. For a thousand years we do not know what happened to them. Legends and myths with no basis in fact were mobilized to try and fill the gap. This cold weather came to refute these attempts."
The roots of the three monotheistic religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism - are rooted in the biblical library, and extensive connections exist between them. The book When We Became Jews deals with a critical reading of the books of the New Testament, the Mishnah, the Talmud and the Koran, in an attempt to outline the stages of development of these religions, and formulate questions that research does not tend to deal with: Was rabbinic Judaism created under the influence of Christianity? Could the Oral Torah have been written before the tenth century? Are central characters in rabbinic literature such as Yochanan ben Zakhai, Yehuda Hanasi, Rabbi Akiva and others, characters invented for narrative purposes? What is the place of composition of the Koran? Is the Koran indeed an Islamic creation?
Yigal Ben-Nun does not take any assumption for granted, and does not shy away from overturning heavy stones in the field of research. He demonstrates great depth, originality and knowledge, and he expresses his insights in clear and accessible language. When did we become Jews is a must read for any reader who wants to dive into the canonical texts of the monotheistic religions and extract new insights from them.